Which Country Has the Most Nobel Laureates in Literature? - Answers

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Which Country Has the Most Nobel Laureates in Literature?

World Map depicting Nobel Prize Winners in Literature


There is hardly any speculation about the status of Nobel Prize. The people who outperform in their fields and have creative or intellectual achievements are honored by this prestigious award.

Nobel Prize was initiated in 1901 and is given in honor of Alfred Nobel who was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. Since then it is the most prestigious award that outweighs all other awards. It sets the excellence status for generations to come. Nobel Prize is given for various fields including medicine, mathematics, chemistry, literature, peace, physiology, physics.

Nobel Prize is given for literature as well. Literature is the field of study that continues to travel through time and space. It reveals the holistic picture of the society- historic, social, cultural, political, and economic fronts. By studying literature, one becomes capable of interpreting things in a manner which perhaps none but they can. Literature is not based on hard and fast rules. It accepts the individual perspectives, provided a due support to one’s argument is presented.

Here is a table representing the winners of Nobel Prize in literature, with the country winning the maximum awards on the top.

Year Laureate Country Language(s) Genre(s)
1901 Sully Prudhomme  France French poetry, essay
1904 Frédéric Mistral  France Provençal poetry, philology
1915 Romain Rolland  France French novel
1921 Anatole France  France French novel, poetry
1927 Henri Bergson  France French philosophy
1933 Ivan Bunin  France (Born in Russian Empire) Russian short story, poetry, novel
1937 Roger Martin du Gard  France French novel
1947 André Gide  France French novel, essay
1952 François Mauriac  France French novel, short story
1957 Albert Camus  France (Born in French Algeria) French novel, short story, drama, philosophy, essay
1960 Saint-John Perse  France (Born in Guadeloupe) French poetry
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre  France French novel, philosophy, drama, literary criticism, screenplay
1985 Claude Simon  France (Born in French Madagascar) French novel
2000 Gao Xingjian  France (since 1998) China (1940–1998) Chinese novel, drama, literary criticism
2008 J. M. G. Le Clézio  France Mauritius French novel, short story, essay, translation
2014 Patrick Modiano  France French novel
1907 Rudyard Kipling  United Kingdom English novel, short story, poetry
1932 John Galsworthy  United Kingdom English novel
1948 T. S. Eliot  United Kingdom (Born in the United States) English poetry
1950 Bertrand Russell  United Kingdom English philosophy
1953 Winston Churchill  United Kingdom English history, essay, memoirs
1981 Elias Canetti  United Kingdom (Born in Bulgaria) German novel, drama, memoirs, essay
1983 William Golding  United Kingdom English novel, poetry, drama
2001 V. S. Naipaul  United Kingdom (Born in Trinidad & Tobago) English novel, essay
2005 Harold Pinter  United Kingdom English drama, screenplay
2007 Doris Lessing  United Kingdom (Born in Iran) English novel, drama, poetry, short story, memoirs
1981 Elias Canetti  United Kingdom (Born in Bulgaria) German novel, drama, memoirs, essay
2017 Kazuo Ishiguro  United Kingdom (born in Japan) English novel
1930 Sinclair Lewis the United States English novel, short story, drama
1936 Eugene O’Neill the United States English drama
1938 Pearl S. Buck the United States English novel, biography
1949 William Faulkner the United States English novel, short story
1954 Ernest Hemingway the United States English novel, short story, screenplay
1962 John Steinbeck the United States English novel, short story, screenplay
1993 Toni Morrison the United States English novel
2016 Bob Dylan the United States English poetry, songwriting
1987 Joseph Brodsky the United States (Born in the Soviet Union) Russian and English poetry, essay
1976 Saul Bellow the United States (Born in Canada) English novel, short story
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer the United States (Born in Poland) Yiddish novel, short story, memoirs
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer the United States (Born in Poland) Yiddish novel, short story, memoirs
1902 Theodor Mommsen  Germany German history, law
1908 Rudolf Christoph Eucken  Germany German philosophy
1910 Paul von Heyse  Germany German poetry, drama, novel, short story
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann  Germany German drama, novel
1929 Thomas Mann  Germany German novel, short story, essay
1972 Heinrich Böll  West Germany German novel, short story
1999 Günter Grass  Germany German novel, drama, poetry
2009 Herta Müller  Germany (Born in Romania) German novel, poetry
1909 Selma Lagerlöf  Sweden Swedish novel, short story
1916 Verner von Heidenstam  Sweden Swedish poetry, novel
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt  Sweden Swedish poetry
1951 Pär Lagerkvist  Sweden Swedish poetry, novel, short story, drama
1966 Nelly Sachs  Sweden (Born in Germany) German poetry, drama
1974 Eyvind Johnson  Sweden Swedish novel
1974 Harry Martinson  Sweden Swedish poetry, novel, drama
2011 Tomas Tranströmer  Sweden Swedish poetry, translation
1906 Giosuè Carducci  Italy Italian poetry
1926 Grazia Deledda  Italy Italian poetry, novel
1934 Luigi Pirandello  Italy Italian drama, novel, short story
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo  Italy Italian poetry
1975 Eugenio Montale  Italy Italian poetry
1997 Dario Fo  Italy Italian drama
1904 José Echegaray  Spain Spanish drama
1922 Jacinto Benavente  Spain Spanish drama
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez  Spain Spanish poetry
1977 Vicente Aleixandre  Spain Spanish poetry
1989 Camilo José Cela  Spain Spanish novel, short story
2010 Mario Vargas Llosa  Peru Spain Spanish novel, short story, essay, drama, memoirs
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz  Poland (born in Russian Empire) Polish novel
1924 Władysław Reymont  Poland Polish novel
1980 Czesław Miłosz  Poland (born in Lithuania) Polish poetry, essay
1996 Wisława Szymborska  Poland Polish poetry
1923 William Butler Yeats  Ireland English poetry
1925 George Bernard Shaw  Ireland English drama, literary criticism
1969 Samuel Beckett  Ireland English and French novel, drama, poetry
1995 Seamus Heaney  Ireland (Born in Northern Ireland) English poetry
1958 Boris Pasternak Russia Russian novel, poetry, translation
1917 Karl Adolph Gjellerup  Denmark Danish poetry
Henrik Pontoppidan  Denmark Danish novel
1944 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen  Denmark Danish novel, short story
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson  Norway Norwegian poetry, novel, drama
1920 Knut Hamsun  Norway Norwegian novel
1928 Sigrid Undset  Norway (Born in Denmark) Norwegian novel
1945 Gabriela Mistral  Chile Spanish poetry
1971 Pablo Neruda  Chile Spanish poetry
2000 Gao Xingjian  France (since 1998) China (1940–1998) Chinese novel, drama, literary criticism
2012 Mo Yan  China Chinese novel, short story
1963 Giorgos Seferis  Greece (Born in theOttoman Empire) Greek poetry, essay, memoirs
1979 Odysseas Elytis  Greece Greek poetry, essay
1968 Yasunari Kawabata  Japan Japanese novel, short story
1994 Kenzaburō Ōe  Japan Japanese novel, short story
1991 Nadine Gordimer  South Africa English novel, short story, essay
2003 J. M. Coetzee  South Africa ( Australian citizen) English novel, essay, translation
1919 Carl Spitteler   Switzerland German poetry
1946 Hermann Hesse   Switzerland (Born in Germany) German novel, poetry
2004 Elfriede Jelinek  Austria German novel, drama
1973 Patrick White  Australia (Born in the United Kingdom) English novel, short story, drama
2015 Svetlana Alexievich  Belarus (Born in Ukraine) Russian history, essay
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck  Belgium French drama, poetry, essay
2013 Alice Munro  Canada English short story
1982 Gabriel García Márquez  Colombia Spanish novel, short story, screenplay
1984 Jaroslav Seifert  Czechoslovakia (Born in Austria-Hungary) Czech poetry
1988 Naguib Mahfouz  Egypt Arabic novel
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää  Finland Finnish novel
1967 Miguel Ángel Asturias  Guatemala Spanish novel, poetry
2002 Imre Kertész  Hungary Hungarian novel
1955 Halldór Laxness  Iceland Icelandic novel, short story, drama, poetry
1913 Rabindranath Tagore  India (formerly British Raj) Bengali and English poetry, novel, drama, short story, music
1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon  Israel (Born in Austria-Hungary) Hebrew novel, short story
2008 J. M. G. Le Clézio  France Mauritius French novel, short story, essay, translation
1990 Octavio Paz  Mexico Spanish poetry, essay
1986 Wole Soyinka  Nigeria English drama, novel, poetry
2010 Mario Vargas Llosa  Peru  Spain Spanish novel, short story, essay, drama, memoirs
1998 José Saramago  Portugal Portuguese novel, drama, poetry
1992 Derek Walcott  Saint Lucia English poetry, drama
2006 Orhan Pamuk  Turkey Turkish novel, screenplay, essay
1961 Ivo Andrić  Yugoslavia (Born in Austria-Hungary) Serbo-Croatian[66] novel, short story

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